There Is Only Now

How do you perceive the future?

Do you see your future self as separate from your present self? Or do you see your future self simply as the continuation of your present self?

A lot of the time I see the future as The Future. Capital “T,” capital “F”. A gleaming abstract concept that holds infinite possibilities and infinite hope. “Anything can happen in the future,” I think, “I will write a book. I will be able to play the guitar well. I will do this task and I will do that task. I will get round to doing it.”

That thinking is wrong. It is wrong because I am putting the future on a pedestal, and seeing it as a time that is completely separate from the present, while lumping my responsibilities into it.

In reality, the future is just a version of the present that has not already happened yet. By the time it comes round, it will be the present.

You cannot leave things up to your future self to complete, because by the time the future comes round, you will be your future self.

You can only control what is happening now. Everything that you wanted to do in the past is up to you now.

“Now,” is a funny thing. I once read a book that observed how you can continue breaking “now” down into smaller and smaller pieces. I think it was quite a popular book but I can’t remember the name of it. One of the characters described how you only exist in the present, but how you can see the present in different ways. You can see it as the current hour, the current minute, the current second or the current millisecond. You can keep breaking it down into infinitesimally small fractions. One second has its own past, present and future within it, as do all other measurements of time. In the end, you are only existing in the tiniest portion of time. Yet you are moving through time constantly. I found that fascinating. Make the most of these milliseconds.

Happy Winter Solstice.

 

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17 thoughts on “There Is Only Now

  1. Wow that IS fascinating. I think that when we like to think that ‘Oh in the future I’ll do this’, that will only happen if you do it in the present. The present should be seen as the pathway to the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful thoughts on time. šŸ™‚

    Personally, I don’t see time as something that exists. So I don’t think that space and time are connected, but rather space and the cause of change, which actually isn’t this thing we call time. Time, as you said, is simply a measurement of change, but it doesn’t cause change. What we perceive as time is simply change that has happened (the past), change that is happening (the present), or change that is coming (the future). Sometimes, change that is coming can be predicted, such as planetary motions. Sometimes, change that has happened can be addictive, which is how we can lose ourselves in memories of better days. Sometimes, change that is happening can be controlled; and when we can’t control it, but can predict it, that leads to either comfort or fear; comfort in familiar patterns, and fear in an inevitability such as death.

    That’s why I cringe every time I hear a scientist talking about the concept of space-time or things like time travel. I wonder if they’ve really thought about what time actually is or if they’ve simply accepted what someone else has said at face value. Time is nothing more than a measurement. It’s certainly never healed a single wound.

    But that’s just my opinion, and it’s probably wrong. I’m always the first to assume that I’m wrong. šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post raises a very interesting philosophical question. Personally I do see my future self as being separate from my present self – only because I see my past self as being entirely separate from my present self. In fact, I almost think sometimes that the past didn’t really happen because it’s so long ago and because I have since become an entirely different person. Therefore it follows from this, that going forward things it will be the same, as in my future self is entirely different.

    As usual, good read Jamila! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Year Of No Bullshit | thisizapen

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